Greg Wood | ,| By
Still chasing posted jobs on numerous job boards and company websites? Still following the C*R*A*P approach to job search (Clicking, Reviewing, Applying, and Praying)? Still discouraged because nothing is happening?
Think of today’s job market as an iceberg. Posted jobs appear on the tip of the iceberg. Those are the jobs that are advertised for the world to see. While there are thousands and thousands of advertised jobs, they only represent about a quarter of all the total jobs available! The other three-quarters are below the surface. This is what’s referred to as the “hidden job market.” We don’t know about these jobs because they’re not advertised. If you insist on chasing jobs on the tip of the iceberg, you must understand that the competition for each and every one of those jobs is absolutely fierce. You’re playing what I call the Internet Lottery.
Over the course of several weeks or months, you’ve probably kept yourself very busy by sending out hundreds of resumes. You’re relying on the myth that if you throw enough against the wall, something’s got to stick, right? What you don’t realize, however, is that there aren’t hundreds of jobs out there for you, only a select few. While you may be working harder, you’re not working smarter. You sit by the phone, wonder why it never rings, and become increasingly frustrated. Your entire approach is traditional. It’s reactive and, for the most part, ineffective.
In order to be successful and shorten your time in transition, you need to conduct a strategic job search. That begins by defining your value to the business community. What do you bring to the table? Why would anyone be interested in hiring you? Remember, your resume is a reflection of the past and it does a lousy job of conveying the true value you offer a company moving forward. When you’re playing the Internet Lottery and submitting your resume to an employer, you’re typically relying on someone in Human Resources to determine your value to the organization. You’re basically saying: “Here’s my work experience, my accomplishments, my credentials and my education. Now it’s up to you to determine where I fit within your organization.” You don’t want some personnel assistant deciding if you’re valuable enough to put in front of the hiring manager for an interview; you want the hiring manager making that decision.
Some job seekers do find jobs above the surface on the tip of the iceberg. They send in their resume, get a call to come in and interview and they get the job. However, 99% don’t! Some people go to the casino, drop three coins in the slot machine, get “7-7-7” and hit the jackpot. However, 99% don’t! They just don’t understand the odds against them. You need to understand the odds against you if you insist on playing the Internet Lottery.
Don’t misunderstand! I’m not suggesting that you ignore the tip of the iceberg and any posted job that may be of interest to you. If you find one that you want to pursue, by all means go for it. Drop three coins in and pull the handle. You may be one of the lucky ones. If you must, spend perhaps 20% of your time playing the Internet Lottery. Spend the rest of your time building a professional network by conveying your value (through your one-page biography, not your resume) to hiring managers in companies of interest where you know your skills, experience and expertise would be of value.
Are you ready to stop playing the internet lottery?